Abels & Annes

Chicago Loop Link BRT, Bike Lanes Set to Open

121715In recent years, the City of Chicago has taken steps to address traffic issues in the downtown area. As more people choose to ride bicycles, the network of bicycle shared lanes, protected lanes, and pathways has expanded, providing greater safety to those who ride and fewer interactions between cyclists and motorists. Many others choose to get around on one of the CTA’s buses as numerous bus routes crisscross the Loop, allowing users to get to their destinations without the hassle or expense of a personal car.

If you ride a bicycle, use a CTA bus, walk, or even drive in Chicago, chances are that you will notice a significant difference starting today and carrying through this weekend. After a lengthy construction process, the new Loop Link BRT is set to open on Sunday and some new bicycle lanes will be ready for use today.

The Loop Link has been billed as a modern transportation update on Washington, Madison, Clinton, and Canal that will link the West Loop with Michigan Avenue. Its design is intended to improve traffic flow by enabling buses to use bus-only lanes, letting those vehicles move in a continuous manner while preventing the traffic backups that happen behind often-stopping buses. These bus-only lanes are colored a deep red and will run along the right hand side of the roads. Next to the bus lanes, an area dedicated for passenger pickup and drop off will exist with raised platforms to enable smooth transitions onto and off of the buses.

More than 1,000 buses will use the new Loop Link bus lanes in the downtown area and will be controlled by special traffic signals which will enable those buses to proceed before other motorists in some instances. Bus traffic will begin to utilize the lanes created during the Loop Link project on Sunday, but cyclists in the downtown area will start seeing benefits today.

The new protected bicycle lanes created during the Loop Link construction will open today to riders and will exist on portions of Randolph, Washington, and Clinton. While some protected bicycle lanes existed in these areas prior to the public transit redesign of the area, they have undergone updates as well in the name of safety. Now, these bicycle lanes are painted green and are designated only for cycle traffic. When running in the same areas as the Loop Link BRT (bus rapid transit), the bicycle lanes run to the right of the elevated platforms designed for bus passengers, completely removing them from motorized traffic and preventing unnecessary interactions between cyclists and passing cars. However, cyclists are being warned that pedestrians still maintain the right-of-way in some areas so bicyclists should watch for and be prepared to yield to pedestrians when necessary.

Bus accidents and bicycle collisions are a significant issue to those who live in or work in Illinois as they lead to thousands of injuries every year. If a crash affected your life or harmed someone you love, know that you may be entitled to financial compensation for your damages, including the medical expenses you incurred. The personal injury lawyers at Abels & Annes, P.C. are standing by 24 hours a day, seven days a week to take your call toll free at (855) 529-2442 or locally at (312) 924-7575 so that we can help you understand your legal options. We offer a no-cost, no-obligation case consultation to all victims who call us and everything discussed during the the consultation will be kept confidential.

If we represent you in your case, we will never charge you a fee unless we are successful on your behalf and we will fight for the best possible outcome for you.

If you have questions, the legal team at Abels & Annes, P.C. has answers. Call us now or contact us online now and let us get to work for you.

Prior Blog Entry:

Getting Help after an Injury at a Friend’s House, Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, published December 16, 2015.

Resource:

Loop Link, CTA/CDOT.

Chicago to Launch $34M Loop Link Express Bus Service Downtown this Weekend, NBC Chicago/Associated Press, published December 15, 2015.